JUNIOR sides Bellshill Athletic and Thorniewood United will kick off the new season with a derby clash at Vale of Clyde’s Fullarton Park on Monday night.
The local rivals, as usual, are paired in the same section for the Euroscot Engineering Sectional League Cup - the traditional opener to the season - and go head to head in their opening fixture in the five-team group which also includes Glasgow sides St Roch’s, Petershill and Thorniewood. Kick-off will be 6.45.
Last season Thorniewood enjoyed a 3-0 win over Bellshill at Robertson Park - their first derby victory for over a decade - in last season’s competition, but Athletic gained revenge in February when they beat United on penalties after a 1-1 draw, again at Robertson Park, in the second round of the D & D Programmes Central League Cup.
Both sides will be in action again in their second group games next Wednesday with Bellshill travelling to Shettleston and Thorniewood playing at home to Petershill, also with 6.45pm kick-offs.
Bellshill will play their third game in five days when they take on St Roch’s at Fullarton Park next Friday, August 10, while the following day Thorniewood are at home to Shettleston.
Thorniewood’s final group match will be away to St Roch’s on Monday, August 13, with Bellshill finishing their fixtures away to Petershill on Wednesday, August 15.
League football gets under way on Saturday, August 18, with Thorniewood away to Ayrshire side Maybole in their opening Super League First Division fixture while Bellshill will begin their Central League First Division campaign by travelling to face Neilston.
Thorniewood will continue their pre-season build-up with a friendly against Vale of Clyde at Robertson Park tonight (Wednesday), kick-off 7pm, and complete their preparations with another friendly at home to Lanark United on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.
Bellshill are away to Ayrshire side Dalry Thistle tonight (Wednesday) and face Rossvale in their last warm-up match at Huntershill Sports Centre in Bishopbriggs on Saturday.
The Bellshill Athletic Supporters’ Club bus for Dalry will leave The Orb at 5.30pm while Saturday’s bus will depart at 12.30pm.
Non-members are welcome. For seats, call Alec Connor on 07563 605707.
There were no winners in last week’s Bellshill Athletic lottery. This week’s prize is again £2,000.
For a full round-up of match reports from Bellshill and Thorniewood’s recent friendlies see this week’s Motherwell Times or Bellshill Speaker.